The Ecommerce industry is booming and shows no signs of slowing down. Around the world, there are over 2 billion active digital buyers. That’s about 25% of the entire global population, and the percentage is growing.
As high-speed internet becomes more accessible and eCommerce brands become more sophisticated, the vast majority of purchases may soon happen online.
In order to stay relevant in the highly competitive eCommerce space, it is necessary to meet the high demands of eCommerce customers who are often looking for streamlined service, convenience, competitive prices, and a customized experience.
UCaaS aims to assist in all these areas and more by leveraging the power and flexibility of the cloud.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS stands for Unified Communications as a Service. Simply put, UCaaS allows an organization to communicate with customers, collaborate internally, create workflows, automate repetitive tasks and otherwise conduct business all in one platform.
Phone service, video conferencing, messaging, and collaboration tools are all included in a UCaaS platform. All data is collected and managed in the cloud so that it is easily accessible from anywhere.
The Rise of UCaaS
The UCaaS market was valued at 38.74 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to 210.7 billion by 2028. The growing number of remote workers along with the rising demand for eCommerce due to the covid-19 pandemic has driven even more growth and innovation in the UCaaS space. Some of the most notable trends are focused on improving mobility for remote workers, increasing productivity, and enabling no-code development.
UCaaS Benefits for Ecommerce
Even for smaller eCommerce businesses and startups, UCaaS offers many benefits. It might be exactly what your business needs to stand out. Read on to find out some of the biggest benefits of UCaaS.
1. Significantly Lower Costs
It would be impossible to talk about benefits without mentioning cost savings. Saving money is the most popular reason companies are implementing this technology. The amount of savings a business will have by switching over to the cloud varies from company to company, but the number is never insignificant. Overall, businesses can save anywhere from 30-50% on operating costs by switching to UCaaS.
If you make the switch, you will not need to pay for a business phone system, SMS text messaging, live chat, helpdesk ticketing, collaboration software, softphone apps, meeting software, IVR software, dialing software, etc. Your business can also completely avoid paying for expensive, bulky on-premise phones and other hardware, along with ongoing maintenance costs.
Instead, with UCaaS, all of these tools and others will be included in one platform with one monthly fee. Additionally, because unified communications utilizes voice over internet protocol (VoIP), communication costs are much cheaper than legacy business phone systems and there are no maintenance costs. The average price for a UCaaS plan is about $20 to $30 per user, per month.
You can also save even more by letting your employees work from home. With everything located in the cloud, workers have the flexibility to work from a home office setup or even from their mobile phones. Having a remote workforce saves costs on office overhead and often leads to healthier, more productive and happier employees.
Finally, with UCaaS, there is no need to hire an IT department as a startup or small business. User-friendly dashboards can handle everything from IVR setup to video meetings. Analytics and custom reports can be easily generated from the data gathered in the cloud in order to gain insight and make improvements.
2. Broaden Your Outreach
In addition to saving money on operational costs, your business can reach many more new clients with a streamlined cloud-based communication system.
Modern consumers use many different avenues to research and connect with brands. They might prefer to communicate by voice, email, text, live chat, or even social media. With a UCaaS platform that includes omnichannel marketing, your business will be able to open up all the aforementioned channels to customers so they can communicate in a way that is comfortable for them.
Omnichannel services go further than just opening up multiple communication channels. With an omnichannel approach, all communication data is collected and organized so that your employees can easily see a prospect’s history regardless of what channel or channels they use. This also allows for data-driven marketing and results in a better customer experience overall.
Marketing campaigns that use 3 or more channels have seen as much as a 287% higher purchase rate compared to single-channel campaigns. With a unified multichannel marketing strategy, you will be able to find your target audience wherever they are spending time.
Robust 24/7 customer service
One of the main draws of eCommerce is its availability. The Internet is open 24/7/365 and consumers expect to be able to make purchases and receive service at all times from the brands they choose to do business with.
With UCaaS, your eCommerce store can not only accept orders 24/7, but you can set up self-service options, utilize virtual receptionists and create AI-powered chatbots to keep business running smoothly even when your staff is sleeping. Robust 24/7 service means that your outreach will include all time zones around the world.
With all communication managed in the cloud, businesses can quickly and easily scale. If your company has dramatic seasonal fluctuations, UCaaS is particularly helpful. Adding new users or features takes minutes with a unified communications platform.
With a legacy system, adding new users would require new expensive hardware along with lengthy installations and high maintenance costs.
If a legacy company then had to cut back on staff during a dry season, the extra equipment would just be left to collect dust. With UCaaS, you only pay for what you need and use. Software updates happen automatically and there is no need for maintenance.
4. Better Customer Experience (CX)
Today’s customers have higher expectations for eCommerce than ever before. They expect fast and convenient service and an experience that is tailored to them. These demands simply cannot be met with legacy communication systems.
More Personalized Service
Unified Communications as a Service allows companies to offer different experiences to different groups of customers and prospects. There are several ways to customize CX using unified communications.
With a UC platform, consumers can communicate with your business using whatever form of communication they are most comfortable with. Additionally, UCaaS works seamlessly with AI and machine learning to turn the data you have on customers into actionable insights allowing you to offer a more personalized experience.
Finally, IVR and virtual assistants can be used to provide unique experiences for different individuals through customer segmentation. And these are just some of the ways to offer a more personal touch using this technology.
Faster Ticket Resolution
There are a number of tools and features included in UC systems that can help companies provide better customer service and resolve more problems faster. Call center features such as call whisper and call barge to allow more experienced agents to help newer agents while they are on a call with a customer. Preview dialers and knowledge bases give agents the information they need right when they need it.
AI chatbots and other self-service resources can be created with UC platforms to help customers with simple and/or frequently asked questions. With UCaaS, all customer service communication is recorded, tracked, and analyzed in real-time so that companies can keep information and agents updated on frequent issues.
When it comes to cloud-based software, automation is a key feature and is constantly improving. Using the right tool, any repetitive task can be automated. Some of the processes that could be automated in an eCommerce store are
– updating inventory lists,
– tagging VIP customers,
– flagging orders,
– updating customer history,
– segmenting customers, and
– scheduling product releases.
Using automation eliminates a lot of chances for human error and saves employees time so that they can focus on more difficult tasks and avoid burnout. This means fewer mistakes, higher productivity, and happier employees. Having happy and productive employees will undoubtedly lead to more happy, satisfied customers.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning work hand-in-hand with UCaaS. UCaaS tools collect and manage large amounts of data while AI analyzes this data and reports what changes need to or should be made based on the data.
The advances in Artificial Intelligence in recent years have been nothing short of astounding. Thanks to AI, Disney and Netflix are able to learn what movies a specific individual will watch and whether they will enjoy it. They can even tell who will become a “core” fan. This influences decisions on what kinds of content will be made.
Nearly every business can benefit from AI, but it can only work with access to large data banks like those gathered by a UC platform.
Businesses of all sizes are moving to the cloud and doing so as quickly as possible. The explosion in remote work and e-commerce has made the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions such as UCaaS even more necessary.
With all of the benefits, it’s easy to see why this trend is taking hold. If you’ve been on the fence about trying a UCaaS system for your business, now is the time to take the plunge.
Hazel Raoult is the Marketing Manager at PRmention, a digital PR agency for SaaS and Tech Businesses.